1934: the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) was formed after a merger between the National Party of Scotland (formed in 1928) and the Scottish Party (formed in 1932)
1945: SNP got its first seat at Westminster when it won at Motherwell. However, this seat was lost just three months later.
1967: SNP won at Hamilton – 22 years after its first Westminster success.
1969: oil was discovered in the North Sea off of Scotland. The SNP claimed that the oil was Scottish and that the drain in money to London was all but theft of another nation’s capital. The SNP claimed that the wealth that Scotland would derive from oil would enable the nation to have a successful independent economy that was not dependent on London.
1970: election year. The SNP lost Hamilton but gained the Western Isles. The party got 11.4% of the Scottish vote.
1974: the year of two elections. In the February one, the SNP got 21.9% of the Scottish vote and in the October one, the SNP put up a candidate in each Scottish constituency for the first time and got 30.4% – a figure it has never managed to improve on. In the February election, it won 10 seats and in the October one, 11 seats.
1978: the minority Labour government had to operate with the support of MP’s from the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Their reward was the open discussion of devolution.
1979: a referendum was held in Scotland regarding devolution. 52% supported devolution but 36% abstained from voting. Therefore, only 33% of those entitled to vote favoured devolution – below the 40% required to carry it through. In the 1979 election that followed the withdrawal of the SNP and Plaid Cymru’s support of the minority Labour Government, the popular vote for the SNP fell to 17.3% and they won only 2 seats. 1979 saw the election of the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher, which lead to the Tory dominance of British politics until 1997.
1987: in the election this year the vote for the SNP rose to 14% and they won 3 seats in total.
1988: the Poll Tax was introduced in Scotland one calendar year before it was introduced to England and Wales. This act caused much disquiet in Scotland where the SNP accused the Tories of using Scotland for experimental purposes. If it did not work, Poll Tax Mark II would be introduced to England and Wales but the background to its original failure would have been in Scotland.
1989: the Scottish Constitutional Convention was established. This was meant to be a cross-party alliance to kick-start the issue of devolution. The Scottish Tories had nothing to do with it and the SNP refused to take part as they felt that devolution was not want they wanted which was full independence from Westminster. The Scottish Constitutional Convention produced its report in 1995 on the way ahead and the report formed the basis of the scheme implemented after 1997.
1992: election year. The Tories won the election but in Scotland the SNP got 21.5% of the votes but only 3 seats.
1999: elections held for the new Scottish Parliament. The SNP got 35 votes out of a possible 129 – the second largest party after Labour.